EDITORIAL - No longer just about preventing floods

The Freeman

The Cebu City government has seen it fit to outsource a private surveyor to map out the Estero de Parian in downtown Cebu City. With this, the reclamation of the waterway is seen to proceed swiftly.

“Gi-outsource na man ang pag-survey. Gasugod na sila last Monday (April 29) pa. So, with this, we expect nga mas mapaspas na g’yud ‘ning atong pag-recover sa three-meter easement,” said retired police general Aderson Comar, Cebu City Task Force Gubat sa Baha north river commander.

Reclaiming our waterways is no longer just a matter of preventing floods during the rainy season. Yes, that is one issue that needs to be addressed, but then there is also the matter of improving the city’s sanitary conditions.

Just look at our esteros and you will see that they aren’t natural waterways as much as they are health hazards; thanks to our culture of uncleanliness they are breeding grounds for diseases.

At any given time they are full of refuse and rotting garbage. What you can find there varies from solid waste, human waste, and everything else in between. This blocks the water flow and the resulting standing water turns dirty. We don’t even have to talk about the smell. It’s a wonder how entire communities are able to live beside them.

Anyone who knows anything knows that these places are where pests and vermin thrive, where bacteria breeds, and where diseases can come from. Considering how many esteros-turned-health hazards are right smack in the middle of the city it’s a miracle we haven’t had serious health issues arising from their presence in our midst yet.

Not that we should for that to happen, either.

The sooner we reclaim these esteros the sooner we can prevent flooding during rainy season and minimize health risks. Let’s not forget that many communities live near these esteros. Anything bad or contagious coming from these filthy waterways will have a lot in terms of hosts or victims.

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